Quickly, as I'm off for the weekend...
1. Yesterday afternoon I didn't think there was any way that the remaining 6 matches could match Uruguay-Ghana for excitement. I was wrong. My goodness.
2. Win, lose, or draw from here on out, the nation of Spain seriously need to declare Iker Casillas a national treasure like Brasil did with Pele, and economic crisis and oceans of debt be damned, they need to set him up with a ridiculously massive pension for the rest of his life. And whatever they pay him for this, it will not be enough. Make no mistake- Saint Iker is most definitely Spain's player of the tournament thusfar, they would not have made it out of the group stage without him. He also should be in the player of the tournament discussion along with Sneijder, Klose, and Villa. I am dead serious about all of this.
3. As I detailed before the game, it became pretty clear that whoever scored 1st would win this match. Iker's save of Cardozo's penalty was more massive than it will ever be given credit for. Cardozo is 6 days removed from scoring the deciding penalty to knock out Japan, and after the game today he was crying and inconsolable. I feel for him in the same way I feel for Gyan, but not as bad, because his penalty was saved by Iker whereas Gyan's hit the bar and was literally the last kick of the match and carried the hopes and dreams of 1 billion people.
4. Some Spain players, led by Pique and Cesc Fabregas, went over to console and hug Cardozo. CLASS.
5. The ever increasing soccer interest in the USA was not hurt today by this epic match being broadcast on ABC. More casual American sports fans were relieved of the inane notions that a) soccer is boring b) soccer is a sissy sport played by fairy boys, whereas American football is a tough game played by manly men (see- Sergio Ramos getting kicked in the face).
6. Your final four is Uruguay, Holland, Germany, Spain. All of the people talking about what a crappy World Cup Europe was having last week were very much mistaken, as I told you at the time.
7. Still a 50% chance we get an 8th member of the World Cup winners club, and if Spain beat Germany and Holland beat Uruguay, this will be guaranteed.
8. If you've been around here for more than 5 minutes, then you know that my focus is on the future and trying to make educated guesses as to what will happen and why. Well of all the predictions I have ever made, I am more confident in this than anything else, ever: There will be video replay at the 2014 World Cup in Brasil. Forget "the love of the game". It has been so bad, so controversial, and so visible, that FIFA will be forced to act not for the good of the game, but for the only thing they care about: cash. Not correcting this problem after this World Cup will put them in a position of weakness when negotiating the next TV and advertising contracts, and that is simply not acceptable. If they introduce video review, whatever form it may take, they will be in a position of strength when they negotiate the future multi-billion contracts, and that is why it will come to pass.